A distinguished former federal prosecutor and regulator, Bill Stellmach previously served as head of the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and now co-chairs both the firm’s global Investigations & Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Practice Groups, leading a team that is consistently recognized as one of the world's most elite investigations practices. His practice focuses on internal and government-facing investigations, criminal and regulatory enforcement defense, and corporate monitorships, with experience across the full spectrum of federal, state, and foreign authorities. Drawing on a wide range of experience, Bill regularly represents a broad range of corporations, financial institutions, and their boards and executives in matters involving securities and commodities fraud, foreign bribery, economic sanctions, the False Claims Act, antitrust, ESG, international money laundering, and compliance issues and investigations related to artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies. He also has extensive experience representing corporations and individuals outside the United States in cross-border inquiries and investigations. Bill routinely represents these clients before every major U.S. regulator, including the DOJ, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC); numerous self-regulatory organizations, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA), and Options Clearing Corporation (OCC); and several U.S. state financial and legal regulators, including the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and various state attorneys general.

Bill is widely recognized as a leading lawyer in the white-collar and enforcement defense practice area, most recently in Chambers USA and The Legal 500, where sources noted he was "stellar," with "a significant background at the DOJ/SEC," demonstrating an "encyclopedic knowledge," and that he was "efficient, very personable and exceptionally capable," "fantastic, even-keeled and great to work with," "epitomiz[ing] grace under pressure," and "unflappable." Clients single out Bill to Chambers USA as a “really bright lawyer with a smart approach to get us through challenging processes," “thoughtful and organized,” and a “fierce advocate” (2023).

A respected voice on compliance and enforcement issues, Bill is a prolific thought leader across a wide range of industry- and subject matter-specific areas through extensive written commentary and lectures. His recent speaking engagements include FCPA training for compliance professionals in the energy sector, training for federal law enforcement agents, and discussing the implications of AI on U.S. and foreign regulatory investigations. His current external commitments include providing ethical training sponsored by the New York Federal Reserve Board, and sitting on the Administrative Law & Government Litigation Advisory Committee within the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center – the litigation arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Bill also serves on Willkie’s Business and Conflicts & Ethics Committees.

Bill is also an accomplished courtroom advocate, and has tried numerous white-collar federal cases to verdict. For his role as a prosecutor in winning a landmark $8 billion fraud trial, Bill received the U.S. Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation, the Justice Department’s highest award for excellence.


  • Recognized as Thought Leader: Global Elite in the area of Investigations  Who’s Who Legal (2023)
  • Willkie Wins Top Honors at GIR Awards 2020
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2023)
  • Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service (2014)
  • Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation (2013)
  • Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service (2013)
  • Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service (2012)

Bill has authored the following publications and served as a keynote speaker and panelist at various forums addressing trends and significant developments in U.S. regulatory and criminal law enforcement. His publications and appearances include:

  • Panelist, “Investigations in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” Le Club des Juristes, January 18, 2024
  • Panelist, “Whistleblowers: US and EU Trends and Best Practices,” Webinar, December 13, 2023
  • Panelist, “Investigations in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” Webinar, December 7, 2023
  • Co-author, “California’s Comprehensive Climate Accountability Regime: Setting an Aggressive New National Standard,” the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, November 25, 2023
  • Panelist, “Managing Crisis and Preparing for the Unexpected,” Institute of Directors India, October 27, 2023
  • Panelist, “Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation and Avoiding Common Pitfalls,” Webinar, October 26, 2023
  • Panelist, “Ephemeral Messaging, Tangible Costs: The DOJ, SEC, and CFTC Crackdown on Off-Channel Communications,” Webinar, June 21, 2023
  • Panelist, “How the U.S. Shapes Investigations in Europe,” Webinar, May 23, 2023
  • Panelist, "ESG Update:  Assessing the Landscape in 2023," Webinar, March 23, 2023
  • Panelist, "Private Equity Enforcement Trends," Webinar, March 2, 2023
  • Panelist, "Attorney-Client Privilege and Secrecy in Transatlantic Investigations: A Comparative Regime Approach, Part 2," Webinar, September 21, 2022.
  • Panelist, "Attorney-Client Privilege and Secrecy in Transatlantic Investigations: A Comparative Regime Approach, Part 1," Webinar, September 14, 2022.
  • Commentator, EY Global Integrity Report, 2022.
  • Co-author, "The SEC and Messaging Apps," the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, June 15, 2022.
  • Panelist, "The SEC’s Emerging Agenda: Enforcement, Examination and Rulemaking Priorities," Webinar, January 20, 2022.
  • Panelist, "Deconstructing Forensic Audits and Internal Investigations from a Corporate Governance Perspective," FICCI, August 24, 2021.
  • Co-author, “Nasdaq Proposed Rules Promote Board Diversity: What Businesses Need to Know,” Bloomberg Law, March 2, 2021.
  • Featured, “Health care ranks second on list of FCPA enforcement actions by SEC,” BioWorld, December 29, 2020.
  • Panelist, “FTC and SEC Litigation, Enforcement and Application to FDA Authorities,” Food & Drug Law Institute: Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference, December 16, 2020.
  • Co-author, “Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Doctrine in Internal Investigations,” American Bar Association: Pretrial Practice & Discovery Practice Points, October 26, 2020.
  • Presenter, "Whistleblowing and corporate compliance programs post COVID-19" Webinar, August 13, 2020.
  • Presenter, "Global Regulatory and Enforcement Developments In The New Normal" Webinar, August 4, 2020.
  • Keynote speaker and Panelist, EY India Virtual Forum, “Beyond COVID-19: Re-Examining Bribery Risks and Sanctions Violations from an Indian and U.S. Perspective,” August 2020.
  • Speaker, Privilege Pointers: Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product in Internal Investigations," Webinar, August 18, 2020.
  • Speaker, "Recent Trends and Developments in U.S. Enforcement Activities Affecting Brazil," Webinar, June 24, 2020.
  • Co-author, “How Public Companies Can Minimize Risks Resulting From a Post-COVID-19 Focus on ESG Issues: Part I,” Corporate Counsel, May 15, 2020.
  • Co-author, “How Public Companies Can Minimize Risks Resulting From a Post-COVID-19 Focus on ESG Issues: Part II,” Corporate Counsel, May 19, 2020.
  • Presenter, “India in Focus: Bribery & Sanctions” Webinar, February 13, 2020.
  • Presenter, “India in Focus Part II: Whistleblower Protection & Compliance Programs” Webinar, April 14, 2020.
  • Presenter, “India in Focus Part III: Compliance Programs” Webinar, April 30, 2020.
  • Keynote Speaker and Panelist, Evolving Regulatory Frameworks and their Impact on Business, Ernst & Young Roundtable, New Delhi, India, November 4, 2019.
  • Moderator, Is Mexico moving towards a Level Playing Field? Compliance & Anti-Corruption Framework in Local and Cross-Border Business? United States – Mexico Chamber of Commerce, New York, February 28, 2019.
  • Panelist and Presenter, Enforcement Trends in FCPA and Global Anticorruption Investigations and Navigating U.S. Sanctions, Mumbai Corporate Compliance Seminar: Anti-Corruption and Third-Party Risk Management, February 19, 2019.
  • Moderator, US-Andean Investigations and Enforcement Cooperation, Andean Summit on Anti-corruption and Compliance, Bogota, December 2015.
  • Panelist, FCPA, SEC/DOJ Joint Actions, and Other Criminal Enforcement Trends, Securities Enforcement Forum, Washington, November 2015.
  • Keynote Speaker, Emerging Trends in U.S. Cross Border Investigations, U.S. Litigation Forum, Seoul, October 2015.
  • Panelist, U.S. Prosecutors Discuss Compliance and Internal Controls Expectations. 9th Annual International Conference on Anticorruption, London, July 2015.

At the firm, Bill has marshaled his unusual depth and breadth of experience on behalf of clients, developing a reputation as an innovative problem solver, a skilled negotiator and persuasive advocate. In particular, he has a proven track record for effectively managing investigations and containing enforcement risk.

  • Representing public company in an SEC investigation into allegations of earnings management and material misrepresentations and omissions in market disclosures following multiple earnings restatements. Obtained a declination which avoided any enforcement action against the client or its officers and directors.
  • Serving as Co-Monitor for the Bank of Nova Scotia for unique, dual monitorships imposed by the DOJ and the CFTC.
  • Representing the Executive Chamber of the State of New York following the resignation of Governor Cuomo in multiple investigations by the State Legislature, the New York Attorney General, and other state and federal authorities.
  • Representing the investment banking arm of a global financial institution in an SEC investigation into bond and complex derivative portfolio valuation practices following whistleblower allegations, and obtained a declination.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 manufacturing company in an FCPA investigation focused on gifts, travel, and entertainment practices in construction of facilities in the Middle East, resulting in declinations from both the SEC and the DOJ.
  • Negotiating the resolution of a novel Helms Burton lawsuit against one of the world’s leading building materials suppliers for alleged violations of U.S. sanctions, enabling continued operation of its Cuban facility and avoiding any OFAC penalties.
  • Advising an Indian manufacturing company regarding ESG issues to avoid debarment by a sovereign wealth fund following public allegations of workplace safety and health issues.
  • Representing an oncology pharmaceutical company in multiple investigations focusing on disclosures of clinical testing data. The engagement resulted in the client obtaining a declination from the DOJ and a favorable, non-fraud based resolution from the SEC, which also declined to pursue bars against any officers or directors.
  • Representing a life sciences company in DOJ (Civil Division) and SEC investigations prompted by a qui tam action under the False Claims Act based on allegations of improper billing practices.
  • Representing Mega International Commercial Bank, one of Taiwan’s largest financial institutions, in complying with consent orders with both the New York Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Board alleging violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea, and anti-money laundering screening deficiencies. The engagement also entailed managing successful and timely completion of an independent DFS monitorship.
  • Representing a New York-based broker-dealer and its management in an investigation by the SEC and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for potential complicity in inflating the valuation of MBS at Premium Point Investments by more than $100 million. Obtained declinations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and negotiated a favorable resolution with the SEC based on non-fraud charges, avoiding any financial penalties or bars for the broker-dealer.
  • Representing the capital markets division of a global financial institution in FINRA and SEC investigations into alleged violations of trading thresholds by the London desk and a potential failure to supervise by relevant U.S.-based desk heads. Convinced regulators not to bring action against the bank or its employees.
  • Representing the Audit Committee of an energy company in a targeted, 10-day internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of procurement fraud in a multibillion-dollar project in Africa, debunking the allegations on the eve of a major market disclosure.
  • Representing co-founder of the largest international cryptocurrency exchange platform in multiple investigations by DOJ (Criminal Division), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, CFTC, SEC, and NY Attorney General, avoiding any charges or other penalties.
  • Representing a London-based bond trader in investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the DOJ, SEC and DFS in the U.S. into competition-related conduct. No charges were filed by any agency.
  • Defending an engineering supervisor at Fiat Stellantis in a criminal investigation into misrepresentations regarding diesel emissions.



Harvard Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 1998 Duke University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1995

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia New York New Jersey

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit United States District Court, Southern District of New York


Lawrence E. Kahn, United States District Court, Northern District of New York, 1999-2000